Japanese stocks fell Thursday after briefly touching a 6 1/2-year high during the trading session as Toyota, Honda and Nippon Steel took a tumble.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index shed 49.10 points, or 0.28 percent, to finish at 17,458.30 points on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. During the session, it hit a 6 1/2-year high of 17,617.64.
Some investors pulled back in afternoon trading as some players waited for earnings results out this week.
The recent strength in Tokyo stocks reflects the robust profits of firms amid Japan's long-running economic recovery, Economy Minister Hiroko Ota said Thursday.
Losers included Honda Motor Co., which fell 2.04 percent to 4,790 yen (US$39.92), and Toyota Motor Corp., which posted a 1.72 percent drop to 8,010 yen (US$66.75). Nippon Steel Corp. shed 1.16 percent to 684 yen (US$5.70).
Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. fell 3.71 percent to 1,454 yen (US$12.12).
Office equipment maker Ricoh Co. closed 5.18 percent higher at 2,540 yen (US$21.17) on the news that it is in the final stages of negotiations for IBM's digital printer business.
The broader Topix index, which includes all shares on the exchange's first section, fell 9.21 points, or 0.53 percent, to 1,729.40 points.
In currencies, the U.S. dollar was trading at 120.42 yen at 2:50 p.m. (0550 GMT) Thursday, down from 120.95 yen late Wednesday in New York. The euro rose to US$1.2962, from US$1.2961.